straddle stretch

If you are looking towards getting your middle split straddle stretching the adductors are essential to achieve your goal. I have put together 19 straddle stretches to increase dynamic and static flexibility.

Dynamic flexibility is the level of flexibility one can reach while the body is in motion. For instance when you kick your front leg in front of you. You may find that the range of motion is restricted, because you need to have the dynamic strength and flexibility to support the pose.

Static flexibility is the flexibility we have when we are in a static pose. For instance when you are sitting on the floor in the split. The body is supported by the floor in a static position.

So enough talk about stretching, let’s take these stretches to the mat!

19 straddle Stretches For Flexible Legs

Seated Straddle Stretch

straddle stretch

How To:

  • Starting with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Sweep your legs as wide apart as you can.
  • See if you can push the hips further forward.
  • Flex the toes back, push the heels out, and externally rotate the legs meaning roll them towards your posterior.
  • Keep your spine long.
  • Push your sitting bone down into the earth.
  • Place your hand’s palm down in front of you.
  • Keep the body upright.

Back Straddle Stretch

How To:

  • From seated straddle stretch.
  • Extend the arms out and keep them horizontally so they are in the same plane as your legs.
  • Lower the chest, engage the back and hold.

Shoulder Press Straddle Stretch

How To:

  • From back straddle stretch.
  • Place your palms on the floor in front of you.
  • Alternate pressing your shoulders to the front and back.
  • Press your right shoulder to the front while moving your left shoulder to the back.
  • Concentrate on pressing your shoulders to the front of the body.
  • Repeat on both sides.

Fold Forward Straddle Stretch

straddle stretch

How To:

  • Starting with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Sweep your legs as wide apart as you can.
  • See if you can push the hips further forward.
  • Flex the toes back, push the heels out, and externally rotate the legs meaning roll them towards your posterior.
  • Keep your spine long.
  • Push your sitting bone down into the earth.
  • Place your hand’s palm down in front of you.
  • Walk your hands slowly and touch your chest to earth without compromising your hips.

To come out, lift your spine slowly and put your hands onto floor behind your back, lean back and bring your legs together

Sideline Straddle Stretch

straddle stretch

How To:

  • From a seated position.
  • Extend you arms outwards so that they are inline with the legs.
  • Reach the right arm to the right foot.
  • Left arm draws over towards the right foot.
  • If you need more bring the left hand to the right foot also.
  • Ensure that your chest is turned out as if you are trying to reach the sky with your heart.

Side Straddle Chin To-Shin

How To:

  • From a seated straddle.
  • Twist at the waist towards the right leg.
  • Place both hands on the ankle or shin.
  • Draw your chin towards the shin.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Behind the leg straddle

adductor longus stretch

How To:

  • From chin to shin.
  • Gently raise the chest so that you have enough range of motion to place both hands behind the ankle of the right leg.
  • Hold this and relax for a few seconds.
  • Repeat sequence on the other side.

Straddle Strengthen And Stretch

straddle stretch

Ok this picture may scare you and you may wonder how you are going to do this pose. Don’t stress this is a very extreme version. Ours will be on the floor with blocks.

How To:

  • Place a block under the thighs on both sides.
  • It should sit in between the knee and hip.
  • Extend and engage the legs.
  • This should raise you in line with the blocks.
  • Then allow yourself to lower and your bootie comes to the floor.
  • Repeat!
  • Essentially you want to be lifting and descending lifting and descending in a straddle position while engaging your adductors.

Standing Wide Legged Straddle Stretch

straddle stretch

How To:

  1. Take the feet nice and wide.
  2. Take your hands to your hips.
  3. Toes turn in.
  4. Bend forward with a flat back.
  5. Palms flat to the floor.
  6. Hands shoulder-width apart.
  7. Try to walk your hands back as far as you can go.
  8. Gently bring your hands so that they are under your feet.
  9. Soles of the feet meeting palms of the hand.
  10. Arms straight looking ahead shoulders back 
  11.  Exhale bend your spine and work your crown towards the earth.
  12. Draw your kneecaps up the thighs. 
  13. Keep pressing down through the toes and the balls of the feet.
  14. Press out through the heels stretching. 

Standing Straddle Single Foot Stretch

How To:

  • From your wide legged forward fold.
  • Gently twist at the waist and bring both hands to the right foot.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the left.

Semi Straddle Stretch

adductor longus stretch
straddle stretch

How To:

  • From Goddess pose.
  • Bring the heels to the earth.
  • Begin to bend the right knee.
  • As you lower allow the left leg to extend towards the left.
  • Lower yourself to the point of what is comfortable for you.
  • Ensure that your left toe is pointing towards the sky.
  • You should feel this in your left adductor.

Standing One Legged Straddle

straddle stretch

Once again this image is of the advanced version! If you cant get your foot in your hand then we can use a wall to assist you.

How To:

  • Standing on two feet.
  • Gently raise one foot off the ground.
  • You can use a chair or bench to help you keep balance.
  • Using the same hand as leg place the heel in the palm of your hand.
  • Extend to the full range of motion that you have.
  • If this is to advanced try the wall straddle stretch below.

Wall Straddle Stretch

How To:

  • Bring a chair over towards the wall to assist with your balance.
  • Left-hand holds onto the back of the chair.
  • The right leg draws up and out.
  • Bringing the heel of the foot onto the wall.
  • Don’t worry how high or low you are we all need to start somewhere.
  • Gently push the hips forward and back.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Aerial Straddle

Aerial Arts

This one is for my aerial girls. But it does not stop there, ladies there are monkey bars at nearly every play ground so you can use this one too!

How To:

  • Hands facing forward fingers wrapped around the bar.
  • Engage the arms forearms and back.
  • Engage you core and gently begin to peel the legs back towards your body. (You invert when this happens)
  • When you reach your straddle in air, try and use the strength in your legs to draw you deeper in your straddle.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Closed Straddle Stretch – Butterfly

straddle stretch

How To:

  • Sitting on the floor with your feet in front of you.
  • Activating your hamstrings, squeeze your heels towards your groin.
  • Take your knees wide apart and place your feet on the floor as close to your groins as you can.
  • Inhale and interlace the tips of your fingers over your toes, use your thumbs to pry open the soles of your feet, like pages of a book.

Straddle Stretch Against The Wall

straddle stretch

Ok so I am not flat against the wall here, but what you may not now is that I am 7 months pregnant and I had a little lady in the way. You can still get the gist of the move.

How To:

  • Facing the wall.
  • Bring both legs out wide.
  • Push your groin towards the wall.

Supine Straddle Stretch

adductor longus stretch

How To:

  • Laying on the floor against the wall.
  • Bring your sit bones to meet flush with the wall.
  • Legs should be upright.
  • Gently bring the legs out to either side of the body.
  • Use your hands to apply pressure to the adductors.
  • Resist your adductors into your hands for three seconds.
  • Allow the legs to gently open.
  • To increase the stretch you can use ankle weights.

Supine Semi Straddle Stretch

pnf stretching benefits

How To:

  • Laying on the floor in the supine position.
  • Bring one foot upwards so that it is in line with the hip.
  • Either using a strap or your hand.
  • Take that leg out to the side keeping the knee straight.
  • Allow the legs to gently open.
  • Repeat four times on both sides.

STRADDLE LEG LIFTS

How To:

  • Sitting in a straddle position.
  • Bring your hands on either side of the knee.
  • Try not to use them when pushing the leg upwards.
  • Lift the leg towards the sky.
  • Lower to the floor.
  • Repeat.

Straddle Stretching Muscles

THE ADDUCTORS:

The adductors are a group of muscles that stabilize the hips and attach the pelvis to the femur known as the thigh bone. This fan-like group of muscles is part of the functional lines of the body.

The adductor’s primary functionality is to adduct, flex and rotate the thigh. The adductors can strain easily, so it is important to take it slow and have a disciplined conditioning program.

These functional lines enable us to give extra power and precision to the movements of the limbs. The functional line is less involved in standing posture than any of the others under discussion in this book. They involve superficial muscles, for the most part, that are so much in use during day-to-day activities that their opportunity to stiffen or facially shorten to maintain posture is minimal. (Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2e)

Flexibility Testing

straddle stretch

One of the primary motivators is seeing how far you have come with your stretching. It’s essential to measure and track your progress. If you are wondering how would you measure your straddle I have an adductor flexibility test so that you can track your flexibility journey.

I hope you enjoyed these 19 straddle stretches. If you have more to add pop them in the comments below.

Before you start training measure your starting point!

Stay strong and limber,

Jadore Vanessa

Vanessa Barthelmes.

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Flexibility, Contortion & Yoga Instructor.